September 13, 2019

Impressions on the morning after the big debate.

I declined to live-blog last night. Instead, I sat in my comfy chair, alongside my husband Meade, and watched. I wasn't inert — except when I snoozed — but I didn't take notes and I let it run straight through. No pausing for mini-debates of our own. We talked over the candidates when we had comments. The local station butted in a few times to tell us about the approaching thunderstorm and dropped us back into the ongoing debate. Whatever we missed, we missed. Then the thunderstorm delivered its message, louder than any of the candidates (even Julian Castro), so we missed even more.

Yes, I could read the transcript and attend to all the little details, but that would be so boring. Instead, I'll just give you the unique gift I have to give: my impressions of the debate after 8 hours of sleeping and dreaming. I present myself as something like an ordinary person who has watched and been affected by the debate. I'll make a numbered list so I don't get bogged down or bored.

1. I remember Julian Castro going for broke. The stakes were different for him. So he yelled at Biden. It was rude. He taunted him about forgetting something he'd said earlier in a clumsy effort to tap our prejudice against old people. Our memories are failing. I am old and my memory of Julian Castro is the clearest of all my memories of the candidates last night, but my memory of him is that he was rude and ageist.

2. Joe Biden did look old — especially when I switched from the downstairs TV to the newer upstairs TV. The sharper image of him is a little disturbing — I can see that his hair is a strange illusion — but the sharpness of his mind is what matters. He seemed ready to fight, and his idea was he identified with Barack Obama and he offers to make the country into where it would go if we still had Barack Obama. Make America Barack-Obama-Style Again. MABOSA!

3. Bernie was awful. His voice had acquired a new raspiness that made his angry, yelling style outright ugly. I couldn't believe I needed to listen to him. I cried out in outrage and pain. The stabbing hand gestures — ugh! This is the Democrats second-most-popular candidate? I loved Bernie when he challenged Hillary 4 years ago. The anger was a fascinating mix of comedy and righteousness. But the act is old, and the socialism — did Joe call him a "socialist" more than once? — is scary. We can't be having a raving crank throwing radical change in our face.

4. Elizabeth Warren was there on the other side of Biden. She and Bernie were double-teaming Joe, and that worked... for Joe. He linked Warren to Bernie: She's for Bernie/I'm for Barack. I remember Warren reacting to every question with "Listen..." Like we're the slow students in her class and we haven't been paying attention and she's getting tired of us. We should already know what she's been saying on whatever the question happens to be. She was sunny and bright with enthusiasm when she talked about her early career as a school teacher and how when she was a child she lined up her "dollies" for a lesson. She was, she said, "tough but fair." I love whatever love there is for tough but fair teachers. Maybe more of that, but we're not in her class, and our responsibilities are to people and things in our own lives, not in keeping track of whatever her various policies and positions are. Warren seems to have the most potential, but she got yoked to Bernie, and the impression from a distance is: 2 radicals who want to make America unrecognizably different. MAUD!

5. The impression of absence: All the governors are gone. ATGAG.

6. Pete Buttigieg has the best voice. He seems like a solid young man. No impression of any substance.

7. Andrew Yang. I kept wanting him to talk more. His father was a peanut farmer. We made some Jimmy Carter jokes. He wasn't wearing a tie, but he had on a shirt that — buttoned on the second button — seemed to be strangling him more than a tie. That's got to be a metaphor for change. It seems like a good idea, making life freer and more pleasurable, but in practice it's constricting and distracting. Yang said something about picking out 10 families to give $1000 a month. Was that an offer to hand out his own money? I don't know. He ought to try to seem less weird, not more weird. Unless that's his goal: to become the most famous weird guy. Sorry, you can't win that prize. The most famous weird guy is Donald Trump.

8. Cory Booker. For a few weeks, I have had a working theory that he is the best of the bunch. But I don't remember anything he said last night. I talked over his opening statement because I was distracted by the tailoring of his suit. The men all wear suits that are utterly neutral, just providing the idealized shape of a man. That shouldn't be a hard mark to hit.

9. Amy was over there in her blocky greenish pantsuit. I remember nothing she said. I want to like her. She's in reserve as a normal person who might be okay. I remember her getting excited while talking. I guess she was hoping to make an impression.

10. Kamala Harris wore a silk shell under her suit jacket. The glossiness caught the light and shadow in a mesmerizing display of undulation. What did she say? I don't know but she said it in that voice that I can easily imitate simply by holding my nose. She seems unsteady, shaky... like that silk shell is a metaphor. I almost feel sorry for her. I don't understand why she's there and I don't believe she understands. Writing that makes me remember something she said: Her mother told her she needs to be her own person and not let anyone else tell her who she is. That's very inward. Running for the presidency is not a journey of self-exploration. But I don't believe that's what she's really doing. I think she's been told — maybe by a hundred or a thousand people — that she's got what it takes to be President and she's accepted their idea of her. That's the opposite of what her mother said.

11. If there was anyone else on the stage, they've slipped my mind. Let me think hard. I think there were 10, and point #5 is about the absence of governors. Who is that mystery man/woman? I'll have to look it up.

12. LOL. I forgot Beto!

122 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

While I appreciate, as always, your comments, prof...

I wish you'd drop the prejudice obsession. It's boring, worn out and it sort of makes you look like the stereotype of an old person who can't put the 60s away.

I'm old. Most of the stereotypes about the old, like all stereotypes, are true.

daskol said...

MABOSA sounds too ethnic. MOPA: Make Obama President Again.

daskol said...

MBOPA if you want to stick with the African vibe.

Rob said...

Biden’s great moment was recommending that parents turn on their record players, but even better was a moment later when he started to say “phonograph” but checked himself.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

It doesn't matter who the Dems nominate. Trump is going to win in a landslide and the MSM will be stunned.

Phil 314 said...

The football game was better.

Molly said...

This article https://spectator.org/why-nc-9-should-frighten-the-democrats/ has implications for the Dem presidential nomination race. In last Tuesday's NC congressional by-election, the Rep won in a repeat of the face-off between the two candidates who had run in 2018. And in one (majority minority) county, the vote trend was: Obama +17, 2018 Congressional race D + 15.3, 2019 Congressional race D + 1. In another 60% black county, the Dem won in 2018, but the Rep won in 2019.

This is another data point supporting a hypothesis of erosion of black support for Dems. So, it seems to me that Dems must put a black on the ticket (Booker, Harris, most likely, though Deval Patrick a dark horse) and we won't see a Biden Warren ticket.

Ryan said...

You know you're old when your dentures almost fall out mid-sentence.

Almaron Dickinson said...

Isn't MABOSA a drink with champagne and orange juice? Think I'll go make one. Better than thinking about Biden and Obama.

Chris said...

And then there is Robert - I'm going to start a Civil war wile pretending to be Mexican if it kills me - O'rourke.

tim maguire said...

You'd think Warren would be happy in the position she currently holds (second tier and in the best position to step to the front as Biden fades). If she's curt and annoyed now, then will she ever be anything else?

Howard said...

I know it's your job Ann, but I feel sorry you have to delve into wretched dreck

Temujin said...

Good analysis. Spot on. You should sleep through these more often. Sometimes it's the instant and occasional take that gives you an honest reaction.

I thank you for doing what I tried to do, but could not. Bernie and Beto were too much for me to watch. I left it in the hands of my wife.

Rick said...

Like we're the slow students in her class and we haven't been paying attention and she's getting tired of us.

There's a certain irony here.

dustbunny said...

I’m glad you watched it so I don’t have to. Even Bill Maher is saying the democrats are blowing it.

michaele said...

Julian's attack did and is getting him talked about...but just not in a good way. He came off as a taunting bully and, ironically, Biden played the befuddle old man perfectly by muttering to his neighbor, Bernie (who's even older than Biden) "What's he saying?" or something to that effect. Both Castro brothers play sneaky and dirty...and then try to look innocent. They are a little obvious to be effective.

David Begley said...

Mayor Pete may have a nice voice but he is the failed Msyor of a small town who wants to abolish the Electoral College. Loser.

MacMacConnell said...

Good analysis, it's going to be Warren or Biden. One thinks we are stupid, the other corrupt.

Hagar said...

You may be "old," madame, though not as old as the leading Democrat candidates.

cf said...

MABOSA!
MAUD!
i can see the great hat wars of 2020 from here, thanks, Althouse.

MadisonMan said...

If your list is in order of what you remember, what does this say about Harris, other than Good Riddance? (But she's probably not gone yet).
It's lousy that all the Governors are gone. It's not like the Senators in the race have any experience actually leading.

Black Bellamy said...

Do you think we should put an 80-year old person in charge of the most powerful nation on this planet? That's what Castro should have said to Biden. And whatever Joe's response is, the question everyone thinks about Biden is now public and up front. Is that ageist? It's certainly better than the way he went about it.

Fandor said...

Politically dead men (and squaw) squawking.

Tina Trent said...

Corey Booker is the best at what?

Looking good in a suit, maybe.

His political career has been a Jersey Shore sticky mess of carnivalesque corruptions, embarassments, and lies.

Ralph L said...

8. Cory Booker.
MORE TO COME

Needs more than a .

Shanti Mangala said...

Andrew Yang's son of peanut farmer spiel was very disappointing. His father has a PhD from University of California, Berkeley and he worked for IBM and GE and holds multiple patents. He was a scientist, not a farmer.

JackWayne said...

if Biden is the best they have then they don’t have much. But I still believe that Biden won’t last. He’ll be down to campaigning 3 days out of the week. They can try to drag him over the finish line like Hillary but I can’t see how it works. The new standard for President is someone Larger than Life. Biden can’t get there.

JML said...

Slow morning today if I'm first to comment. We didn't see any of it last night. Our Yaris caught fire after a short drive my son made. I suspect pack rats. I think the fire was a megaphone for the dems ticket. A righteous POP then smoke and flames.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Mayor Pete's holier than thou act is grating, and made the Julian vs Biden moment memorable for how Little Pete injected himself as if he was above the fray but just got laughed off and let Amy get in the last word, which she had to repeat.

wendybar said...

Meh. Glad YOU watched. I would rather watch paint dry. All of them are freaking nutcases.

Bruce Hayden said...

Not any response yet to Ann’s post. My thoughts there about that is that the conservatives here don’t want to be bothered, and the liberals are too embarrassed by last night’s debate to chime in.

I do appreciate Ann and Meade suffering through the debate, so that most of the rest of us didn’t have to.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Debates are a boring waste of time, unless they include Trump. He fundamentally changed our expectations of what a debate is and how interesting and entertaining it can be. Sorry all you other boring candidates!

I ignored it and watched a really good movie with my wife.

Wince said...

Listen, how could you miss the video of Biden's teeth falling out.

You'd think with all that graft the guy could afford implants.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I'm not finished reading. I wanted to interrupt and say...
#3!
#3!

J Oliver said...

I thought the site was down. Now I see that it was just ennui.

Fernandinande said...

Not any response yet to Ann’s post.

Initially your comment was the only one, now there are posts with earlier times. It might be a mystery.

Bernie and Amy are first-name only? But Barack Obama?

Paul said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"It doesn't matter who the Dems nominate. Trump is going to win in a landslide and the MSM will be stunned."

Absolutely. If that is the best these yo-yos can do... and Trump flies a flag over the debates!

And meanwhile, at the ranch, the "WALL" is going up, economy is doing great, troops are coming home from Afghanistan.

Gonna be a fun 2020!

Paul said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"It doesn't matter who the Dems nominate. Trump is going to win in a landslide and the MSM will be stunned."

Absolutely. If that is the best these yo-yos can do... and Trump flies a flag over the debates!

And meanwhile, at the ranch, the "WALL" is going up, economy is doing great, troops are coming home from Afghanistan.

Gonna be a fun 2020!

Rory said...

"how could you miss the video of Biden's teeth falling out."

That's it for him.

Chris N said...

Thanks.

Roger Sweeny said...

MAUD? ATGAG? I have no idea what you're trying to say. (I do terribly at Wheel of Fortune.)

traditionalguy said...

Is that screwed up and hateful bunch all the Dems have to offer. As Trump says we have no choice but to vote for him. Where did they hide the interesting Marianne and Truth Teller Tulsi? It seems like we must accept horrible candidates as the new standard or else.

Robert Cook said...

"The football game was better."

I can't imagine anything I would want to sit through less than a "debate" among a gaggle of aspirants for the White House, except a football game, (or any competitive team sport event).

alan markus said...

Not any response yet to Ann’s post.

Initially your comment was the only one, now there are posts with earlier times. It might be a mystery.


Comment moderation has been enabled.

Browndog said...

Phil 314 said...

The football game was better.


...and that was borderline unwatchable.

I didn't watch the debate, but the reactions this morning revolve around Kamala being drunk, and OAC getting set on fire by a white supremacist from Cambodia who's family were murdered by the Khmer Rouge.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Tulsi is ahead of Amy in the polls. I guess that's why the DNC pulled Tulsi.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

“Washington is the village, and you’re the child.”

--PJ ORourke

Fernandinande said...

Bernie and Amy are first-name only?

I forgot Beto!

Birches said...

We watched about ten minutes at the end of the night. My impressions:

Bernie looked like a lunatic.

I'd vote for Yang.

Warren is going to end up with the nomination because she's so earnest.

Kamala is awful. Spouse called her low energy. I agree.

Limited blogger said...

Great summary. Spot on.

If I knew you'd provide this I could have done something else.

Browndog said...

With each performance, these Democrat candidates are putting more pressure on House Democrats to up their Impeachment game.

Mr. Forward said...

NBC may be throwing in the towel, they started the 8 AM central news with three fast clips. Biden, Warren and Sanders. Looked like a food fight at the old folks home.

narciso said...


Bon appetit:

https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/13/highlights-third-democratic-presidential-debate/?utm_campaign=ACTENGAGE

hugh42 said...

Love that laid back reaction plus the new abbreviated distillations. So happy you watched for me..

MadisonMan said...

That clip of Biden's teeth is funny. But I'm seeing a Periodontist next week. Maybe my teeth will be falling out soon.

Susan said...

I am glad that Beto finally came out in front of God and everyone. Such a relief to have him on record saying what we all knew about him.

"Hell yes we are going to take your AR15's and AK47's."

Maillard Reactionary said...

AA wrote (in part): "...a mesmerizing display of undulation."

At first I read that as a "mesmerizing display of ululation", which would also have been true, from what I've read.

I checked beforehand and confirmed that no time would be added onto the end of my life if I watched this performance, so I skipped it.

Once again, Our Hostess doing the things we won't do. Muchas gracias, as Master Beto O'Rourke would say.

khematite said...

I'd definitely rather hear people start their answer to a question with "Listen" than with "So." "Listen" also has the virtue of sounding fresh, as opposed to "Look," which has been way overused to begin responses on political talk shows for many, many years now. In sum, if I had my druthers, I'd want all the talking heads on tv to stop "look" and "listen."

ga6 said...

Read MABOSA and the first thought in my sleep deprived mind was:
"He found him in Mombasa in a bar room drinking gin"

Maillard Reactionary said...

Molly: "Towlette" Harris is not black. If you want to get all racial-bean-counter-y about it, she's a "quadroon": 3/8th white, 1/8th black, and 1/2 dot-Indian.

Plus 100% fake, but you need complex numbers to represent that mathematically.

Dave Begley said...

It is September 13, 2019 and I'm already both bored and exhausted by the Dems primary race.

doctrev said...

I'm interested in that a law professor's observations are mostly superficial and completely unattached to her knowledge of law and history. Was the debate a pure pander fest? Did anyone bring up unconstitutional ideas, or new twists that might make an idea constitutional? Was your intelligence respected at any point during the night?

I figured the debate would be purely useless, which is why I stayed well away from it. But then, Donald Trump was purely about his platform, and now about his results. After passing trade deals and maintaining a quality economy for three years, he's going to be very difficult to defeat. And if Soros does try to crash the American economy like he's crashed so many others... well, you'll be surprised at the results.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...

Temujin said...

I thank you for doing what I tried to do, but could not. Bernie and Beto were too much for me to watch. I left it in the hands of my wife.

9/13/19, 7:29 AM


Is there really any point to anyone that isn't a hard-core leftist/socialist/communist to want any of this stuff? Really. Is there even a hair's difference between any of these candidates? Other than fighting over who is going to screw us over the most, they all basically want the same things. They just phrase it differently.

They all want to ban anything/everything that they think might impact mother Gaia. They all HATE fossil fuels but also hate nuclear so they want us all to live cold, hungry, and in the dark. They all HATE guns and want them all gone except for the ones the Government has and the criminals. They all want no borders, free stuff to anyone that does not work, free healthcare (haha) for everyone, and MAJOR, MAJOR taxes on everyone.

If elected, by time they are done, Venezuela will be a summer Paradise by comparison.

Why watch and give the networks and DNC the eyeballs and ad revenue? Everyone of those folks on stage HATE everything about America except lining their own pockets with money and power.

Quayle said...

Given the frequency and extent of democrat AstroTurfing, always fully aided and abetted by the major media, the intoxicating ether of democrat inevitability will always be the last thing to evaporate on election night.

iowan2 said...

The debate(s) are hard evidence that Obama as President, and head of the DNC has gutted all the talent form the party. I have not studied, these candidates. But none have offered up something, anything that would make the uniquily situated to replace the current President. I notice the glaring absence of debate on Foreign Policy, and the economy. Foreign Policy because President Trumps policy is a mirror of Democrat desires, only President Trump is willing to implement it and take all the flak that comes with it. The Economy, because every single Democrat running will never state publicly they will maintain the economy where it is at today
Inflation +1.7%
Wage growth +3.5%
Real workers earning +1.8%
3,000,000 people no longer on food stamps
Best recession. EVER!

Ralph L said...

Listen, how could you miss the video of Biden's teeth falling out.

More likely, Botox and dry-mouth.

Amadeus 48 said...

The debate was brought to you by Billy Jack Dog Food (Us oldsters like it, too!).

I think a futures bet on Firesign Theater routines will pay off this campaign season. If you dig a deep enough hole, everyone will want to jump in.

Limited blogger said...

Joe may not go quietly, and allow the smooth transition to Warren that everybody expects.

Browndog said...

The Federalist: Here Are The Best Tweets From The Third Democratic Primary Debate

robother said...

Warren and Bernie are making it easy for Biden by splitting the socialist vote in the primaries. If either of them dropped out now, the other would double his/her vote share and Biden would trail. If I were a cynic, I'd say that Warren has a wink, wink deal with Biden to be Veep if she stays in. That's the kind of deal the Clintons could broker, but of course, Warren and Hillary are not talking, right?

Caligula said...

"Bernie was awful." Bernie's natural venue is hawking Daily Workers on a street corner. He's almost like a politician from the era before televison, making too-big gestures and a too-loud voice, things that work well on a street corner but not so much in a TV studio.

"I remember Julian Castro going for broke." Questioning Biden's mental fitness is not unreasonable, but, on the matter Castro was shouting about, Biden's memory was correct and Castro's was not.

Kamala Harris is underperforming. There's no there there, no center, no passion, no core. Nothing but boilerplace leftism. Even Bernie's street-corner shtick is better than her roboticism.

So, Biden marches on. But I'd not vote for him if his opponent was the Devil, because of his role in bringing on the Title IX Campus Inquisition. The risk to Democrats here (other than a health catastrophe) is, how does he differ from Hillary Clinton? He's smoother and can pretend to tolerate other people living on the planet with him (where Clinton could never seem to stop broadcasting her contempt for practically everyone). And as compared with Clinton, he's not as corrupt (but who is?). Like Clinton, he can lay a claim to being the candiddate with the most experience in high levels of the federal government.

On the other hand, he can't hoist the "The Future is Female!" banner as Clinton could (which in many ways was about all she had to offer, but which was enough for many voters). Whereas Biden comes across as a somewhat robotic, weary, dull (but opportunistic) old man. And who wants to watch that for four years (assuming he lives that long)?

Narr said...

So, listen. I thank our Hostess for embracing the experience--there are things too daring for me--and the rest of you for explaining and explicating all I missed.

Narr
I love the smell of snark in the morning. It smells like victory.

Leland said...

Great recap. It was like reading Lileks, particularly when describing Harris.

On Bernie; what you saw is what I've always seen with Bernie. He's interesting when he is bringing the firebrand, but when he's bringing it, he is yelling and has stabbing hand gestures. It's the "I've had enough and I'm not going to continue to take it." I think it works well for his supporters, but as a person opposed, it really is a turnoff. So what does it do for the undecided?

When you look at the states Bernie won in 2016 primary; he did well in small populations state. I think his message works on the fringes and not for a larger mass.

Bob Smith said...

George Stepnfechit had it exactly right. “We learned a lot”.

Dagwood said...

I wish I could forget Beto.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I was all for Bernie back when he ran against Hillary. Of course. I'd root for a bag of crap over Hillary.
Reality is - Bernie Sanders is a bitter old commie. He's really frightening, actually.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

They all want to be our personal Santa Clause. Freaking depressing.

Tommy Duncan said...

Have we returned to moderation of comments? If so, why?

Oso Negro said...

@ Phillipidus - wouldn’t it be octaroon?

Jersey Fled said...

Corey Booker is a man without substance. I shudder at the thought of Corey having to address a real,right this minute crisis.

FullMoon said...

The debate was for democrats and undecided to pick a winner. Others tuned in to see if anything interesting would happen. I recorded it so I can fast forward to the funny parts.

Watched Bernie for a minute to see the crazy gestures. Saw Kamala insult Trump, hoping for a twitter back and forth.

Went to John Althouse Cohen for his live blogging.

Will look at recording later to see if Biden was wore out at the end and if Harris actually did appear drunk.

Doug said...

ga6 said: "He found him in Mombasa in a bar room drinking gin"

Great Zevon song - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

Doug said...

ga6 said: "He found him in Mombasa in a bar room drinking gin"

One of the great Warren Zevon songs - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.

mockturtle said...

Running for the presidency is not a journey of self-exploration.

So true. And no one can accuse Trump of being overly introspective.

rehajm said...

Tina Trent said...
Corey Booker is the best at what?

Looking good in a suit, maybe.


Heh. Adios, Johnny Bravo. Righteous. Outta sight.

wildswan said...

The Dems are all going to ban fracking. But, based on Althouse's report, the winning Dem will ban fricking debates.

PS Thanks for your intrepid, daredevil flight into through the buffeting winds of buffoonery.

rcocean said...

I tried to watch some of the debate, really, I tried. But without a quart of whiskey its impossible to listen to these silly dull clowns for more than 15 minutes. Not to mention the dull/stupid ABC “News” people.

No one is going to care about these debates, until it gets down to 3-4 serious candidates. And they start attacking each other and saying why they deserve it over the other guys. I’m not interested in listening to 2% O’Dork ramble on about “who’s a racist”. Or how Buttigeg will handle Russia, when he can't even win NH.


I was disappointed in the Althouse write up. No O’Dork speaking Spanish and putting on a Sombrero. No Warren doing the Tomahawk chop. No Biden saying “Here’s blood in your eye.” What a dull night. However, I'm glad that Bernie did get that angry look and flap his arms around. I like his mad hatter socialist shtick.

Drago said...

iowan2 outlines why the dems "curiously" did not find much time to discuss the economy under Trump other than a couple throw away lines.

Which is strange since all the lefties and "Blog Forum Initiative" "conservatives" are constantly regaling us with tales of economic woe under Trump.

Hmm.

You'd think that would be front and center in a debate dominated by far left socialist dem hacks who want to take over everything and run every aspect of your life.

John henry said...

Sorry Ann,

I am about the same age as you and I think that Joe Biden's age, and especially how he is showing it and how it seems to be affecting him is absolutely a fit question to raise about a presidential candidate.

If he was just some guy in the supermarket or a neighbor or something, I would agree with you. Leave his age out of it. But he is running for president of the US and his mental fitness is certainly questionable.

PDJT is also old, about 75 currently. His age would certainly be a valid subject and not ageism. However, I suspect that if you asked most people who didn't know, they would guess his age in the early to mid-60s. Vigorous, sharp, not showing mental signs of aging as far as I can tell.

Certainly discussable, though.

John Henry

rcocean said...

"They don’t — they don’t know quite what to do,” Biden said referring to parents not knowing how to raise their kids. “Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the — the — make sure that kids hear words.”

Yes, be sure to play some Frank Sinatra for the kids says Grandpa Biden. Or perhaps that new act "the Beatles" that come along in the 70s.

tommyesq said...

I'd definitely rather hear people start their answer to a question with "Listen" than with "So." "Listen" also has the virtue of sounding fresh, as opposed to "Look," which has been way overused to begin responses on political talk shows for many, many years now. In sum, if I had my druthers, I'd want all the talking heads on tv to stop "look" and "listen."

I have always heard that beginning a sentence with something like "Listen" is a signal that what you are about to hear is a load of crap. Biden in particular starts sentences (or interjects in the middle o f sentences) thinks like "honestly" or "I really mean it" or the like that are a clear tell that he is being anything but honest.

BADuBois said...

As I said in another comment, I wouldn't trust any of them to fix a paper jam in my printer.

jaydub said...

"I can't imagine anything I would want to sit through less than a "debate" among a gaggle of aspirants for the White House, except a football game, (or any competitive team sport event)."

Not even a soccer game between the Young Pioneers and the Komsomol? You should at least support your home teams.

Drago said...

Limited blogger: "Joe may not go quietly, and allow the smooth transition to Warren that everybody expects."

He'll do whatever the hell it is he's told to do.

Abandon any thoughts that Biden could even begin to operate with any degree of independence outside of the party apparatus.

1 phone call from the obumbler to Biden explaining that the obumbler is prepared to make a public statement that Biden is not the way forward would crater Biden to 5% in the polls. Biden would mouse-ily and meekly and deferentially step aside after a phone call like that.

In other words, 1 call like that would be a "big f***in deal".

FullMoon said...

The Economy, because every single Democrat running will never state publicly they will maintain the economy where it is at today
Inflation +1.7%
Wage growth +3.5%
Real workers earning +1.8%
3,000,000 people no longer on food stamps
Best recession. EVER!


Problem is, angry people more likely to vote than satisfied people.
Dems trying to keep the hate alive and create more anger every day.
Typical working person not immersed in politics everyday and not afraid things will change for the worse if she does not go out on a cold November day to cast her vote.

LA_Bob said...

I sat through about an hour or so and gave up. It was just all too banal.

Althouse, good observations. I mostly agree you. For example,

"...except when I snoozed..." I don't blame you.

"...MAUD!" Funny, Stephen Greene (Vodkapundit) said Bernie reminded him of "Maude".

"Cory Booker....I don't remember anything he said last night." Booker filibustered some question. I think it was on immigration from the Telemundo guy. Even when pressed to answer the question, Booker continued to filibuster. Booker is easily the most animated of all the candidates, but it makes him look a bit less than serious, like a college kid who stumbled into a formal dinner and wants to know when the band starts to play.

"Kamala Harris...I don't understand why she's there..." I don't either. It's like, the Senate is boring, so let's run for president!

"LOL. I forgot Beto!" Not hard to do. Except he "came out of the closet" (on guns), and a lot of folks will not think much of that.

The low-polling pols have to start throwing "Hail Mary" passes, and they are.

LA_Bob said...

I sat through about an hour or so and gave up. It was just all too banal.

Althouse, good observations. I mostly agree you. For example,

"...except when I snoozed..." I don't blame you.

"...MAUD!" Funny, Stephen Greene (Vodkapundit) said Bernie reminded him of "Maude".

"Cory Booker....I don't remember anything he said last night." Booker filibustered some question. I think it was on immigration from the Telemundo guy. Even when pressed to answer the question, Booker continued to filibuster. Booker is easily the most animated of all the candidates, but it makes him look a bit less than serious, like a college kid who stumbled into a formal dinner and is all amused and wants to know when the band starts to play.

"Kamala Harris...I don't understand why she's there..." I don't either. It's like, the Senate is boring, so let's run for president!

"LOL. I forgot Beto!" Not hard to do. Except he "came out of the closet" (on guns), and a lot of folks will not think much of that.

The low-polling pols have to start throwing "Hail Mary" passes, and they are.

FullMoon said...

This is why I record this stuff to watch later. From Browndogs link above:

"As Castro and Biden went after each other, with Castro launching jabs at the former vice president, the moderators began to bring in other candidates who were unable to speak because of the shouting match ensuing on stage.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg chimed to say the shouting alienates Americans from engaging in the political process.

“This is why presidential debates are becoming unwatchable,” Buttigieg said. “This reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington, scoring points against each other, poking at each other, and telling each other that — my plan, your plan. Look, we all have different visions for what is better…”

Castro clapped back.

“Yeah, that’s called the Democratic primary election, Pete. That’s called an election… This is what we’re here for.”

Jupiter said...

"12. LOL. I forgot Beto!"

Not a betophile? What's 'a matter, prejudiced against gigolo-Americans?

Rosalyn C. said...

I missed parts of the debate, probably the first half, but my impression was that Warren and Klobuchar have greatly improved in their presentation skills. Booker has lost his earnest crazy act and is now a jovial guy. I was struck by how upbeat the candidates were in the interviews after the debate and how pumped up they are about their chances of winning the nomination and beating Trump. Meh.

I was watching Warren in particular and I find her energy is clear and reassuring. I enjoyed listening to her for the first time. I see this AM at the NT Times by Frank Bruni, "Up, Up, Up With Elizabeth Warren The debate showed that she’s slick, which may mean she’s unstoppable." Apparently I wasn't the only one watching her, although I noticed the commentators at ABC and NBC last night talked about everyone except Warren. Is she too white for them?

Dr Weevil said...

Oso Negro (9:28am):
You are absolutely right.

Which reminds me: if I wanted to be shunned for life by every possible employer and most friends and relatives, without doing anything illegal or immoral, all I would have to do is web-publish (under my real name) a recipe for cookies made of 7 parts shredded coconut and 1 part chocolate and call them 'Coconut Octaroons'.

Michael said...

Warren is like Hillary - she thinks her every utterance is so self-evidently wise that if she just repeats herself louder and slower, eventually we'll all catch on. And maybe scolds a little if we're really slow.

Skeptical Voter said...

Beto is eminently forgettable. Kamala is lightweight--like her silk shell. And if Bernie gets any redder in the face and angrier as he is yelling and pointing, he's going to have a stroke. If he keeps it up, he won't make the primaries. Tough to do so when you are confined to a bed in a rehab facility. I don't wish that end for him. While I'm not a medical doctor--if a psychiatrist can proclaim Trump mentally ill without ever examining him, I can look at Bernie's red face and bugged out eyes and say, "That's a stroke candidate on the hoof."

iowan2 said...

I saw that clip of Biden talking about the record player. The media is talking about it. What they have already memory holed, is the part about Biden as President will put childhood development case workers in homes and teach them how to parent. WHAT?

If there is a fact that is unassailable, the government is absolutely, without exception, unable to rear children. It is an impossible feat. (see public education) my parents taught me right and wrong. My grandmothers gave it context. Villages cannot raise a child. Only families can raise families.

Yancey Ward said...

Castro's attack failed spectacularly because it was done in such a ham-handed and outright rude manner. That isn't how you go about it- you have to make the connection to Biden's age if and when he takes the oath of office.

Booker was disappointing- I also had thought me might make one of the most formidable opponents for Trump, but he basically did nothing last night that was particularly noticeable outside the one shot about how it takes no courage to call Trump racist, but then it also takes no courage to agree with that either.

Calypso Facto said...

"Frank Bruni, "Up, Up, Up With Elizabeth Warren"

Probably says more about your preferences, Frank Bruni, and the NYT than the actual debate results. The consensus I've seen across a broad spectrum of sources is that Biden helped his cause more than anyone else, and Warren got lost in the "Crazy Bernie AND Warren" wash.

Rosalyn C. said...

I would never compare Elizabeth Warren to Hillary Clinton. Yes, Warren is a school marm type but she's not vicious or contemptuous. Hillary was unique in that she believed she was entitled to be president, the power belonged to her, she deserved to be worshipped. In fact she still thinks that. Voters and elections be damned -- deplorables.

Rosalyn C. said...

I'm suspicious about the sources who have declared that Biden was helped and is still a viable candidate. For some reason those sources have it in for Warren. We'll see how it plays out.

Yancey Ward said...

I wrote the other day that Sanders will almost surely run to the end, and that is Warren's biggest weakness in the primary election. The problem for Warren is that Sanders doesn't depend on big donations- that is what usually kills a campaign- the big donors stop donating to a campaign that has no chance to win. Warren will have to hope she picks up enough of the other 15 candidates to catch up to Biden, but that will be tough.

Biden, of all the candidates, is going to run best in the primaries of the states of the old south- SC, GA, NC, VA, TN, AL, MS, AR, and LA. He will run a better than Warren in states like TX, FL, OK, AZ, MT, WY, ND, SD, UT, AK, KY, IN, and ID. Warren's base will be upper class whites in the northeast, the upper midwest, and the Pacific coast. Warren really needs Sanders out of the race after NH, and she probably won't get that. It is the one reason I haven't yet just picked Warren to win the nomination- she either needs Sanders out, or Biden to really implode in a publicly embarrassing way.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“Blogger Phidippus said...
Molly: "Towlette" Harris is not black. If you want to get all racial-bean-counter-y about it, she's a "quadroon": 3/8th white, 1/8th black, and 1/2 dot-Indian.”

I think that makes here an octoroon—but who’s counting?

stevew said...

I have never voted for a Democrat and think it quite likely I never will, so I enjoy the analysis and banter about these candidates from you Dems.

It seems you all agree that Bernie has peaked. The eventual nominee will come for the one that takes the most support from the others. I'm not hearing much discussion about qualifications and policy positions. Lots of talk about superficialities like clothes, demeanor, and general looks. Very Survivor like. I dare say boring.

What I'm hearing is still a strong leaning for Biden as the one best to challenge and, hopefully, defeat Trump. Is that about right?

Jupiter said...

R.J. Chatt said...

"I was watching Warren in particular and I find her energy is clear and reassuring. I enjoyed listening to her for the first time. I see this AM at the NT Times by Frank Bruni, "Up, Up, Up With Elizabeth Warren The debate showed that she’s slick, which may mean she’s unstoppable." Apparently I wasn't the only one watching her, although I noticed the commentators at ABC and NBC last night talked about everyone except Warren. Is she too white for them?"

I am Elizabeth Warren and I approve this ad.

FullMoon said...

How many times can Democrat Candidates say racism?

Jim at said...

Somebody needs to tell Hillary the Party needs her to step up and fill the void the current candidates are creating.

Please.

Michael said...

Warren is file. Her abuse of affirmative action should never be forgiven.

Rick said...

Yes, Warren is a school marm type but she's not vicious or contemptuous.

You've obviously never heard Warren talk about businesses [or corparashuns in Newspeak]. In fact she is both vicious and contemptuous. Hillary's problem was that no one ever believed her motivation was anything other than personal power largely because she acted this way toward her allies as well (famously Vince Foster). The fact that Warren is disciplined enough to target only her brand's scapegoats doesn't make it any less true.

FullMoon said...

Debates should be split screen so reactions to comments by other participents can be seen.

Also, the childish hand raising situation of contestants begging to be picked to respond makes the questioner more powerful that the people running for the position of leader of the most powerful country on earth. He/she gets to determine who responds

bagoh20 said...

What a pathetic line up of useless characters. We have seen some poor candidates over the years, but this bunch alone includes all top 10 of the worst ever.

In 2016, Trump beat a number of substantial contenders on both sides, nearly all of which were better than these ten. Obama, who was a total lightweight was miles ahead of these people. Even Hillary was better than any of them, and she was awful. Like Obama, Hillary accomplished virtually nothing substantial in her entire career, and she's was still more accomplished than this bunch.

If Trump doesn't win in a landslide, then I have no hope for this nation. Such a population is not capable of long term survival in the real world. It's future cannot possibly be just, prosperous, and peaceful. The mindset and logic displayed cannot possibly deliver anything but angst, injustice, and decline.

Even if I hated Trump, I'd vote for him as the least of 11 evils.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

after this last shit-show,
the political ground-hog has seen his shadow--

...4 more years of Winner.

Sam L. said...

"Beto" is eminently forgettable.

mockturtle said...

My daughter assures me that Trump will win another term. She actually predicted he'd win in 2016! So I hope she's right again.